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Thursday, March 22, 2012

“Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XXIX: ‘Tomato-Dill Buns is one of the Best-Ever Recipes presented at the Elemental News of the Day’ by Chef Pedro R. Munoz”

As with the past twelve days, we’ve been presenting the Doors to you for your listening enjoyment and now that we’ve completed their official albums, we enter the realm of the long-lost live treasure trove of albums that was always said not to exist when suddenly, they started coming out!  Their THIRTY-THIRD album—“Perception”—was released in 2006 and was another great BOX SET by one of rock’s greatest bands ever!  You’ll definitely want to buy this one NOW!  [Unfortunately, the link may no longer be possible due to the fact that the Amazon.com Associates’ Program’s status is up in the air due to the fact that our home base is in California—you can still go there and BUY it!] Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day.


Here's the countdown to December 21, 2012: from today, we have 275 days to go until the End of Days, the End of Time, Armageddon, and the End of the Mayan Calendar!  Everybody, beware!




Chef Pedro R. Munoz

END Commentary 03-23-2012

Copyright © 2012 by MHB Productions

Word Count: 3,058.



Elemental News of the Day Commentary-Opinion-Sports-Foodservice for Friday, March 23, 2012 by Chef Pedro R. Munoz


 Yeast Bread Seminar, Pt. XXIX: ‘Tomato-Dill Buns is one of the Best-Ever Recipes presented at the Elemental News of the Day’ by Chef Pedro R. Munoz

Bakersfield, CA, 03-23-2012 F: Our recipe for today is another yeast bread roll recipe and this time, we’re going to be baking with herbs which are always a treat as not only do they release pleasing aromatics into the air of the kitchen, and they taste great!  Dill weed is one of the best herbs one can bake with and when combined with tomatoes, the results can be astounding!  I have always enjoyed making complimentary combinations that are both pleasing to look at and a joy to consume.  Whenever they’re fresh out of the oven and delivered to the dining room, people can smell their gentle scent long before they arrive tableside.  It’s a good way to utilize leftover ingredients that have accumulated in the walk-in refrigerators, too, like tomato juice and fresh herbs on the verge of going bad.  That is the unique thing about baking, you can take ingredients that are otherwise inedible due to their looks or smells and transform them into something wonderful.  This is what we do constantly with the production of quickbreads such as biscuits, loaves, and muffins that utilize baking powder or soda for their rise.  The worst the ingredients—bananas, sour milk, overripe fruits—the better-tasting is the finished product.  The reason for this is that the chemical reactions that take place are both beneficial and transformative.  They can cause a bread to rise higher and to taste better.  In effect, you’re taking a product destined for the trash and giving it new life, to live on in a baked good for another week or two.  Now don’t get me wrong: if something is BAD or is going to cause foodborne illness, then don’t use it as that would border on the criminal.  I’ve seen too many chefs take incredible chances that I would frown at if I saw them doing it today.  Just use common sense and do the right thing and things will inevitably work out.

So, as mentioned, our roll recipe for today is a bun that utilizes tomato juice and dill weed, both marvelous ingredients for making bread.  The tomato juice provides a beautiful pink color, unobtainable anywhere else and provides a subtle flavor that will both delight the palate and please the taste buds.  The rolls are tender, tasty, and delightful and are easy to make, too.  The crumb is fluffy and the crust is firm, yet tender and once you’ve made them, they will become one of your most popular items on your menu.

(#154) TOMATO-DILL BUNS      

Yield:  about 30 buns  / Mis-en-place: 1.25 to 1.5 hours:

Tepid water

Budweiser fresh cake yeast

Tomato juice (tepid 105°F-110°F)

Large AAA egg, (add remainder to egg wash below):

Kosher salt

Whole dill weed

Vegetable oil

Whole wheat flour

Medium-rye flour

Cups +
Bread flour

Yellow cornmeal

The Finish:
Large AAA egg, beaten (plus remainder from above)
Cold water

Additional dill weed

Melted butter


1.      Mis-en-place: have everything ready with which to work! We will utilize what we call the “Brick Method” which is our way of mimicking the steam injected ovens that professional bakers employ.  It is the steam injection that causes the phenomena of “oven spring” in which steam causes proofing dough to practically double in size before it begins to bake.  This is done at the moment rolls or bread are inserted into a hot oven, preferably convection ovens, because when the switch is thrown, the dough “springs” up and by the time it’s done baking, the rolls are large, beautiful, and tender-crumbed.

a.      To do this, you will need a pair of fire bricks and a pot of boiling water.  When it’s time to prepare the oven, the bricks will be placed upon a burner—preferably gas—and lit up while the water is brought to a boil.  Then, the bricks are placed into a metal hotel pan or baking dish, placed on the floor of the oven, and the boiling water is poured over them which cause a mass of swirling steam to envelop the oven.  Once the rolls or loaves are inserted within, the bricks are left in for 2-3 minutes and then withdrawn with whatever water might still remain in the pan—usually none.

b.      Also prepare your baking pan at this time by lining a sheet pan with a sheet of parchment or wax paper and then spraying it thoroughly with PAM or with some such other food release spray.  Then, sprinkle yellow cornmeal over it which will give the finished rolls or loaves an earthy, crusty, and tasty underside—this mimics baking the bread on the floor of the oven.

c.      Finally, under “the Finish,” combine the beaten egg with the half egg from the dough formula with the water and force it through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl and place inside your refrigerator until called for—this is your eggwash. Note: Beat the second egg required to provide the “half” to the whole egg in the dough formula and then divide it in half; transfer one half to the wash and retain the other with the whole egg to form the dough.  We want to be as precise as possible putting this dough together.

2.      Using an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook or paddle, if you haven’t the hook, combine the tepid water with the yeast and dissolve it while mixing on low speed.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set someplace warm like a high kitchen shelf or close to the ovens but not too close.  Allow the yeast to activate, meaning allow it to become all bubbly—this is a sign that the yeast is alive and ready to work.

3.      Add the tepid tomato juice and the egg-and-a-half, honey, salt, dill weed, and oil and continue mixing until well-blended.  Add the wheat and rye flours and continue mixing and then, gradually begin scaling in the bread flour along the sides of the mixing bowl, bit by bit, until the dough begins to form.  This is the important step to any yeast bread:

4.      Depending on the time of year, the humidity, the warmth of the kitchen, and the quality of the flour, it may take more bread flour and it may take less to form the dough.  This is the only part of making bread that is never the same; it can vary each and every time you make the same bread.  This is what we’re trying to do:

a.      You want the dough to climb onto the dough hook and to remain there for 40-50 seconds or longer without pulling back onto the sides of the bowl and becoming all loose again.  At the same time, you don’t want to overload it with bread flour either so you have to do it slowly. 

b.      Gradually, the dough will pull onto the hook and will remain there as it rotates around the bowl of the mixer when it’s had enough flour so pay close attention to it as it mixes.  Feel the dough with a few fingers: it should feel like a living thing which is precisely what it is, the yeast is a living organism that will cause it to rise in the oven due to the release of methane gas.  That is the by-product of the organisms and it’s what makes our dough rise.  Does it feel smooth, elastic, and alive? Is it remaining on the hook and not pulling off? If it is, stop mixing and pull it out onto a lightly-floured work surface and allow it to rest for a moment or two.

5.      Begin kneading the dough by rolling it out with a rolling pin and then folding the top halfway over the middle and then rolling it out some more.  Then, pull the sides in over upon themselves meeting in the middle and then roll it up into a ball and roll it around.  If you need to add additional flour, do so, but not too much.  Keep kneading the dough for several minutes and then stop.  Note: if the dough should begin to tear or to pull apart—STOP! It’s over-kneaded!  Stop immediately and allow it to rest for a few minutes.

6.      Dust a metal mixing bowl lightly with bread flour that’s about twice the size of the dough and then place the dough within it.  Cover it with a slightly damp warm cloth and set someplace warm to proof.  An unused kitchen shelf or a spot near the oven is good but not too close as you don’t want it to start baking before its proofed or have a premature crust begin to form on one side—these are common, preventable errors that can be avoided from paying close attention to the dough’s surroundings, circumstances, and conditions!

7.      Roll doughs need to rise ONE time only and then a second after they’re formed and waiting for the oven unlike loaves which generally have 3-4 different rises before hitting the oven.  The dough should rise fairly fast—even faster in the summer—and should be up within 20-30 minutes.  When it’s doubled in bulk and straining to escape the bowl, remove it onto a lightly-floured work surface and punch it down.

8.      Give it a quick knead and then roll it out with the help of a rolling pin until it’s about half-an-inch thick.  Cut the dough into long strips and then cut it into as many 2-ounce pieces of dough as you can.  You should be able to obtain about 30 rolls. 

a.      At this point, place the bricks onto the burner and heat them up.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and have a pan ready and some oven mitts or a pair of tongs with which to handle the bricks.  Proceed:

9.      Now, take each piece of dough and quickly form them into rounds by rolling each piece—with the help of slightly-moistened fingertips—into balls and put them all on one side of the table.  Continue forming balls and when all are done, place them onto your prepared pans about 2-inches apart from one another: like 3 x 6 or if you need to use two pans, space them however you need to.  Cover them with a slightly moistened cloth and return to the proofing area and allow them to rise the final time.

10. When the bricks are HOT, transfer them to a metal hotel pan or some sort of other pan that can accommodate them without breaking due to the combined heat and boiling water that will be placed in it.  This is why restaurant pans such as hotel pans are perfect and can be purchased for home use from a local restaurant supply store or a kitchen place.  Place the pan on the bottom floor of the oven and then taking a great deal of precaution, pour the water over the bricks and into the pan—standing back to avoid the upward blast of escaping steam—and then shut the oven and allow the steam to swirl around it.

11.  When the rolls have doubled in size, bring them down and quickly brush them with the eggwash using a sanitized foodservice brush.  Sprinkle them with additional dill weed which will get toasty in the oven and provide an amazing flavor.  Finally, place them inside the steam-treated oven onto the middle rack and close the door.  Allow them to sit for 3-4 minutes and if using a convection oven, flip the switch and let it rip. If it’s a standard oven, all you can do is to put them inside.  After 3-4 minutes more, remove the pan with the bricks and whatever water remains and set aside to cool.  Bake the rolls anywhere from 12-to-20 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch. Check the bottoms and feel them: are they hard and when rapped on; do the rolls sound somewhat hollow? If so, they’re done so pull them out and place the pan upon a cooling rack to cool.

12. As they cool, be sure to brush them several times with melted butter as this will not only impart a rich flavor to the finished product, it will also give them a very attractive shine that is impossible not to notice.  Allow them to sit a few moments longer and then lightly dust them with a bit of bread flour shaken through a fine-meshed sieve.  Then, they’re ready to serve.

13. Leftovers should always be wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil and transferred to the freezer for use at a later time.  The refrigerator, believe it or not, is a very unkind place for breads as it dries them out.  Frozen rolls can be reheated in the microwave oven for good results so if you know you’re going to be using leftover bread, pull it out 30 minutes or so before the time it’s needed to defrost a bit and then heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.

14.  Alternate method: instead of forming buns, you could make these rolls into cloverleaf rolls instead.  How do you do this? First, change the pan from a sheet pan to a muffin pan with small cups, preferably no larger than .25-to-.5 cup in size.  Take each piece of dough that you cut from the strips and divide it into THIRDS.  Roll each third into a smaller ball and then place three balls inside the muffin pan (that’s been thoroughly sprayed with PAM or some such other food release spray) so that when baked, they’ll form a cloverleaf. 

15. Place the pan in the same warm spot to proof and then eggwash as you did for the buns and sprinkle with dill weed.  Allow them to double in size and when they have, bake for about the same amount of time or until they’re totally golden-brown.  Remove and brush with melted butter.  The smaller the muffin cup, the higher the roll will be so always try to use a muffin pan with the cup-size mentioned above.  Cool and store in the same manner.

These are fabulous buns and are fun to make.  If you’ve never made yeast dough before then this is a good one to try.  Always remember that liquid used for fresh cake yeast needs to be WARM but never HOT as it will kill the yeast organisms.  I prefer using fresh cake over SAF or active dry yeast due to the fact that it has better flavor and makes better bread in my opinion.  But you be the judge and make them in any way you so desire, just as long as you follow the directions precisely!


As always, we have a great time around here and that is why we want all of you to become a part of the organization by submitting articles to us for inspection and full-credit.  It is a great thing if you would do this as it’s a symbiotic relationship: we give you the space to share your recipes and in return, you send us more and more people who will hopefully become dedicated followers of the END.  In this day and age of multi-diversity across the Internet, it is important that the voices of more and more people from all walks of the foodservice profession are heard—join us. We urge our readership to write to us and leave comments and if there are any of you, who would care to write an article for us, please get in touch via Magnolia Hilltop Brewers, P.O. Box 20669, Bakersfield, CA 93390-0669.  We obviously don’t pay anything but you will be given a full byline and that’s worth its weight in gold.  We want as many people who want to write to be able to do so and we believe that by presenting a forum for our fellow chefs, we are doing something for our beloved industry.  We love diversity and hope to add new and different authors to our pantheon of chefs, food and beverage directors, and culinary professionals.  Come on and join us, it’ll be fun! Expect that when all of us have run through our cycle, we will be introducing some brand-new talent or so I’m told.

Please remember to avoid doing business with AARC Technology in Bakersfield, CA.  These people don’t care about the small customer anymore but instead put all of their attentions onto their corporate customers. It’s sad to not remember why one has the success they do or from where it came.

I’m excited my friends as we have but two days to go and then I will be on my way out the door.  On Monday, Gervais Krinkelmeier will be coming in to host the week and he always brings in nothing but the best recipes, ones that will enliven your menus and make your kitchens hum with excitement.  Me, I will be enjoying my time off until it’s time to return towards the end of the summer.  I do hope you’ve enjoyed today’s recipe and that the preceding ones earlier this week met with your approval, too.  Please be sure to leave a comment or two and please become followers of the END.  We need you in these last months leading up to December 21, 2012 and the ominous “End Times” predicted by the ancient Mayans.  Who knows what will happen?  I for one have no idea and am as interested in the outcome as are most other peoples around the world.  Personally, I think it’s all a bunch of bunk but then, I could be totally wrong.  Since I love to drink, you can bet I will be hosting one hell of a party before the end presents itself! Lots of laughs, eh?         

 Anyhow, let us close with this impassioned plea—please leave some comments and/or become a follower and why not spend some money and purchase an album by the DOORS and/or buy a cookbook from Amazon.com—we want to make some money here so help us out by buying something!  We are allied with them and are pleased to market their merchandise! See you next time around! Bye!  

Thank you!

Pedro Munoz

Executive Chef Pedro Munoz
CEC, American Culinary Federation, Inc.

This is me at an awards dinner in San Diego for the Chefs de Cuisine in 1978. I began my culinary career in the 1950's and had the good fortune of working with many different chefs before meeting my good friend, Stinkbug, in the mid 1980's in Bakersfield. I am still working part-time in my semi-retired years in my home town in San Diego, CA.


The END Commentary for Friday, March 23, 2012 by Chef Pedro R. Munoz

Please note that everyone who writes for the Elemental News of the Day is their own person entitled to their own opinions, attitudes, and insanity so does not necessarily speak for all of us.  Thanks, Stinkbug.


This original essay was written by the one-and-only Chef Pedro R. Munoz.

Recipe created by Chef Pedro R. Munoz on August 15, 1984 in San Diego, CA.



“Stinky” of the Elemental News of the Day for the best of the news, politics, sports, foodservice, hotel and restaurant business, the end times, the end of days, the apocalypse, armageddon, and whatever else happens to pop up!




This is #1398 an 8” x 10" original oil painting by Beverly Carrick entitled, “Low Tide.’" It's among her more beautiful works and is available for sale. You can see much more of her work at her Website, located at http://www.beverlycarrick.com or at Brian Carrick's Facebook page. At her Website, you will see not only more original oil paintings but also lithographs, giclees, prints, miniatures, photographs, and even her award-winning instructional video entitled, "Painting the Southwest with Beverly Carrick." Beverly has been painting for more than 60 years and is known around the world. Her work hangs in private and public galleries and is followed by a great many fans that circle the globe. We urge you to go to her Website NOW and view her work. It's possible that you will find something you like and will want to buy it for yourself, a friend, a loved one, or a neighbor! You will not be disappointed so please: do yourself a favor and go there IMMEDIATELY! Thank you, the Elemental News of the Day!

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Beer: Smokehouse.



Pedro Munoz, Yeast Bread Seminar, Bread Seminar, Yeast Rolls, Sweet Breads, Classic Bakery Recipes, Gourmet Breads, Bakery Recipes, Breads, The Doors, Egg Doughs, Shaped Rolls, Tomatoes,


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